I hope you and your families are continuing to stay safe and healthy as we prepare for the holiday season. With Thanksgiving just a couple days away, I wanted to reach out with some updates on COVID-19 in the Commonwealth and the upcoming 2021 legislative session.
With COVID cases rising across the Commonwealth, I encourage all of you to remain vigilant and follow CDC guidelines during the upcoming holiday. I know the world looks very different, and our plans may not look like they usually do, but we must do everything we can to keep each other safe. Please continue to wear your face coverings and masks, wash or sanitize your hands frequently, and maintain social distance when you do go out.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to my office at DelKDelaney@house.virginia.gov. My staff and I are here to help connect you to the appropriate resources or state agency.
As you may have heard, Governor Northam announced new measures to counter the spread of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth that took effect on November 15. These measures include:
A limit of 25 individuals for all public and private in-person gatherings,
An expanded mask mandate to include children 5 and older (previously had been ages 10 and up),
An on-site alcohol sale curfew of 10pm
These measures are incredibly important steps to mitigating further spread of COVID-19 in our community. It is up to all of us to do our part and protect our neighbors and communities during these incredibly trying times.
To read more about these new COVID-19 measures, click here. For updated information from Fairfax County on COVID-19 click here. For update information from Loudoun County, click here.
Updates on the 2021 Session:
Much like our recently wrapped up special session, the upcoming regular legislative session promises to be unlike any other.
House leadership recently announced that the 2021 session will be entirely virtual, including all committee hearings and floor sessions. With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, this is the safest way to conduct the business of the Commonwealth and keep staff and elected officials safe.
Additionally, given the unique nature of this upcoming session, individual Delegates are limited to introducing just seven bills. Usually in odd-year sessions, we are limited to fifteen bills. My staff and I are still working on my legislative portfolio for this session, and I will share that information with you in a future newsletter. We are also working through plans on how to make our office as accessible as possible to you during these unprecendented times, so stay tuned for updates on that as well.
67th District Spotlight:
Starting on Saturday, November 28th, buy a freshly-cut Christmas tree from Vale United Methodist Church (11528 Vale Road, Oakton, VA), and your purchase will provide 100 life-saving meals for hungry children and families around the world and locally. As in past years, 100% of proceeds from Christmas tree sales will be used to purchase ingredients for our annual Rise Against Hunger food packaging event, as well as to fund local anti-hunger efforts here in Fairfax County.
The high-quality trees come in a widerange of sizes and varieties, including Fraser, Douglas, Canaan, Concolor, Turkish, Noble & Balsam. Wreaths, pine roping, and tree stands are also for sale. Enjoyholiday musicand friendly (masked) faces while you shop for the perfect tree.
Do you know of a non-profit or other community group that is doing great work in the 67th District? Let me know at DelKDelaney@house.virginia.gov and we could feature them in a future newsletter!
Virginia has become the first state in the country to implement a free COVID-19 exposure notification app using the Apple/Google Bluetooth Low Energy framework. The app is called COVIDWISE and was developed in an unprecedented, public-private partnership between the Virginia Department of Health, Google, and Apple. Simply put, COVIDWISE allows you to anonymously notify others if you test positive for COVID-19, and notifies you if you’ve likely been exposed to the virus based on positive reports from other app users.
This effort is an example of Virginia leading the way forward during the most pressing pandemic of our lifetimes, with the goal of reducing the risk for your friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues and helping Virginia stay safe and healthy.
But it only works if we all use it. Here’s how you can help:
Visit the App Store or Google Play Store and download COVIDWISE
Share information about COVIDWISE with your friends, colleagues, and family members
Post & share your support on social media
Mental Health and Domestic Violence Resources:
At this trying time, it is important that we continue to care for our mental health. Here are some resources if you are struggling and need help:
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Fairfax/Falls Church Community Services Board hotline: 703-527-4077
Loudoun County Mental Health Emergency Services...703.777.0320
Loudoun Suicide Prevention...703.777.0176
PRS CrisisLink: 703-527-4077 or text “Connect” to 85511
SAMHSA National Helpline: 800-662-HELP (800-662-4357)
Children's Regional Crisis Response: 844-NCrisis (844-627-4747) in English and Spanish